The trial of the Guyanese pilot on board whose plane US$620,000 in cash was found in Puerto Rico is set for February 23rd next year.
According to court documents seen by Stabroek News, District Judge, Jay A Garcia-Gregory, today gave the scheduling orders for the trial along in Puerto Rico with the expected procedures for the trial.
According to the document, a pre-trial date is also set for February 17th 2015 at 3pm ADT and Lall, the operator of an executive jet service, has up to February 13th to file a motion to change his plea of not guilty.
The judge’s orders also state that government should make available to Lall all discoverable material before January 5th. Documents relied upon by the plaintiff of government witnesses who will testify at the trial should also be available to Lall’s legal team three days before the trial.
If the government does not file designated evidence to be used at the trial by January 5th it cannot use or refer to same during the trial unless the order is amended.
Further the Judge states that any pretrial motions, including motions to suppress, shall not be filed later than January 19th 2015 as the court will not consider it after the deadline.
Also, a proposed voir dire and proposed jury instructions are to be filed two days before the trial and the US government is also required to submit to the court, in writing, the elements of the offence pertaining to the case.
According to the grand jury indictment which was seen by Stabroek News, Lall is charged with bulk cash smuggling. It is alleged that with the intent to evade a currency reporting requirement, he knowingly concealed more than US$10,000 in currency and other monetary instruments and transported and transferred and attempted to transport and transfer such currency and monetary instruments from a place in the US, that is, Puerto Rico, to a place outside the US, that is, Guyana, in violation of United States Code 5332(a) (1) and (2).
In addition to the charge of bulk cash smuggling, Lall also faces forfeiture of property not limited to the cash, according to the indictment.
The grand jury indictment says that Lall shall, upon conviction, forfeit to the United States all property, real and personal, involved in the offence, and all property traceable to such property, wherever located, and in whatever name held, which includes but is not limited to the currency found aboard the jet.
Searches of Lall’s private aircraft during a refueling stop at the Luis Munoz International Airport, in San Juan, on November 22, uncovered US$150,000, wrapped in plastic bags and a blanket under the exit row seat and US$470,000 in a black suitcase inside a compartment next to the engines, which contained several black garbage bags containing bundles of currency.
Lall, authorities said, accepted responsibility and ownership for the money and informed that his co-pilot and his father, who were with him during the refueling stop, had nothing to do with the cash.
Lall, in addition to his private jet service, is the owner of Kaylee’s Service Station, at Coverden, East Bank Demerara, which he purchased in 2007 as part of his investment plans in Guyana.
According to the Exec Jet Club website, he later expanded his venture when he introduced Quin’s Special Events & Services, a limousine service.
His arrest has attracted much attention here particularly following the disclosure that President Donald Ramotar flew on the service thrice.